University of Hawaiʻi System News https://www.hawaii.edu/news News from the University of Hawaii Tue, 03 Nov 2020 21:31:55 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://www.hawaii.edu/news/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/cropped-UHNews512-1-32x32.jpg University of Hawaiʻi System News https://www.hawaii.edu/news 32 32 Guy Kawasaki, Nainoa Thompson on Hawaiʻi’s economic recovery strategy https://www.hawaii.edu/news/2020/11/02/kawasaki-thompson-hawaii-economic-recovery/ Tue, 03 Nov 2020 01:43:44 +0000 https://www.hawaii.edu/news/?p=129923 UH will host a 4-day virtual conference based on an economic recovery plan as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Guy Kawasaki
Guy Kawasaki

As Hawaiʻi endeavors to formulate an unparalleled economic recovery plan as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the University of Hawaiʻi has assembled leaders from diverse sectors to share “Innovations for the New Normal.” The four-day virtual conference will highlight efforts in vital areas such as health care, resilient food systems and digital infrastructure to help promote economic diversification and stability.

The free series will be held on November 9, 10, 12 and 13 from 8 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. The conference will feature author, speaker, entrepreneur and marketing “evangelist” Guy Kawasaki, a 72 ʻIolani School graduate who went on to make a big splash in Silicon Valley as one of the Apple employees who marketed the Macintosh computer line in 1984.

He hopes to encourage aspiring innovators to pursue non-traditional fields in order to diversify the ailing economy. “Being an entrepreneur is difficult, if it were easy more people would do it,” Kawasaki said. “But that’s why the rewards are so great also. So some of it is just believing and some of it is just pursuing your dreams despite all the negativity.”

Nainoa Thompson
Nainoa Thompson

The conference includes a wide variety of key figures including; UH Economic Research Organization Executive Director Carl Bonham, Master Navigator Nainoa Thompson, International Vaccine Institute Director General Jerome Kim and MAʻO Organic Farm Manager Kaui Sana.

  • November 9: Resilient Food Systems in the COVID Era
  • November 10: COVID Propelled Innovations in Health Care
  • November 12: Digital Innovations for the New Normal
  • November 13: Next Steps to a Resilient, Healthy, Innovative Recovery

“Innovations for the New Normal” is presented by the UH Office of the Vice President for Research and Innovation.

“Innovation starts here, starts at the university and especially in this day where we have lost one of the major drivers of our economy, tourism. We all need to step in and diversify our economy,” said UH Vice President for Research and Innovation Vassilis L. Syrmos.

Register online for webinar series.

View schedule for webinar series (PDF).

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Free webinar on e-cigarette and tobacco prevention, cancer https://www.hawaii.edu/news/2020/11/02/10th-annual-quest-for-a-cure/ Mon, 02 Nov 2020 23:36:05 +0000 https://www.hawaii.edu/news/?p=129911 The 10th annual Quest for a Cure will be held on November 7.

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photo of kids smoking e-cigarettes

The University of Hawaiʻi Cancer Center will hold its 10th annual Quest for a Cure event themed “Tobacco Use: Beyond E-cigarettes and Lung Cancer,” on Saturday, November 7, 9 a.m.–12 p.m. The free public education webinar will include discussions by UH Cancer Center researchers and a survivor on the incidence, health and social issues related to tobacco and e-cigarette use and cancer.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2017, it was reported that 8.1% of Hawaiʻi high school students were currently smoking cigarettes. The State of Hawaiʻi Department of Health has found that approximately 1,400 adults in Hawaiʻi die each year due to tobacco use, and it continues to be the leading cause of preventable death and disease in men and women.

This year’s Quest for the Cure will present information to prevent adults and youths from using tobacco products, promote quitting and eliminate the existing tobacco-related cancer disparities in Hawaiʻi and the Pacific.

Topics include the epidemiology of tobacco and cancer; current research on cigarette smoking and e-cigarette use among Hawaiʻi’s adolescents; e-cigarette marketing; tobacco product use behavior among young people; and current research on cancers related to tobacco.

The featured speakers are UH Cancer Center researchers Lani Park, Thomas Wills, Pallav Pokhrel, Jonathan Cho and Darla Mariboho, a clinical trial participant.

The UH Cancer Center’s mission is to reduce the burden of cancer through research, education, patient care and community outreach. This educational event provides an opportunity for the public to engage with the UH Cancer Center’s faculty members and learn about the research being conducted in their own community.

The registration deadline has been extended.

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4-H contest gets keiki excited about agriculture https://www.hawaii.edu/news/2020/11/02/4h-contest-gets-keiki-excited/ Mon, 02 Nov 2020 22:55:37 +0000 https://www.hawaii.edu/news/?p=129886 A total of 75 entries ranging from tomatoes, giant pumpkins, watermelons, bushel gourds, long gourds and sunflowers, were weighed and measured through the end of October.

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family with gourd
The Yip family’s 111 pound bushel gourd took home first place in the bushel gourd family division.
boy with pumpkin
Charles Cross of Hilo won first place in the giant pumpkins/squash youth division with his 270 pound pumpkin.
boy with watermelon
Kawika Vera of Orchidland took home the top honor in the giant watermelon youth division with his 48 pound watermelon.

For eight years and running, the Hawaiʻi County 4-H program, part of the Cooperative Extension Service housed in the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources (CTAHR), has found a special way to bring out big smiles from its smallest members: a contest of giant fruits and vegetables.

Becky Settlage, Hawaiʻi County 4-H agent and state coordinator for the Hawaiʻi Junior Master Gardener Program, was looking for a unique and fun way to get youth excited about agriculture. Her goal was for keiki to appreciate and love the outdoors, and learn to be self-sustainable.

With the “stay at home” situation this year, the contest started earlier than normal as a way for keiki to do something while stuck at home.

This year’s entries exceeded 2019 by 236%, and several state records were added. A total of 75 entries ranging from tomatoes, giant pumpkins, watermelons, bushel gourds, long gourds and sunflowers, were weighed and measured through the end of October.

“Little do these children realize that, besides having fun trying to grow a giant pumpkin, giant watermelon, giant tomato or giant sunflower, we’re also secretly teaching them a love of science, and skills such as problem solving, responsibility, teamwork, recordkeeping, and of course, getting outside and being active in a safe way,” Settlage said.

Wendi Sasaki, a parent participant who has entered the contest the last two years, said “The opportunity to grow ‘giants’ with my children is a blessing. We were able to spend quality time together, learning and ʻgrowing.’”

The winners were presented their award during a virtual ceremony on Saturday, October 31.

Visit the Hawaiʻi County 4H program’s Facebook page to see a complete list of the winners and photos.

girls with sunflowers
Sisters Ava and Kira Morse of Hilo with their winning sunflower heads. Ava won first place in the youth division with her sunflower head measuring 15 inches.

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Architecture students craft award-winning pieces using local wood https://www.hawaii.edu/news/2020/11/02/students-winning-pieces-local-wood/ Mon, 02 Nov 2020 22:13:22 +0000 https://www.hawaii.edu/news/?p=129850 Students earned awards at the Innovation+Imagination Student Challenge, which is on exhibit as a “show within a show” at Hawaiʻi's Woodshow.

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wooden banana case
“The Overripe Banana” by Beau Nakamori. (Photo credit: Brad Goda)

To introduce young designers, artists and engineers to the strength and beauty of local woods that are sustainably produced in Hawaiʻi’s forests, University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa School of Architecture students participated and earned awards at the Innovation+Imagination (I+I) Student Challenge, which is on exhibit as a “show within a show” at Hawaiʻi’s Woodshow 2020, October 25–November 8.

Steven Hill, director of the fabrication laboratory in the School of Architecture, hosted an informal workshop in the 3DFabLab with a small number of students who all wore face coverings. The UH student work showcased in the I+I Student Challenge came out of six evenings of class over the summer. The more complex pieces resulted from motivated students completing independent projects.

wooden lamp
“Kalamahalaikalani” by Sarah Hyun.
wooden chair
“Paper Airplane” by Keola Annino. (Photo credit: Brad Goda)

Hill knew there were students who wanted to get more involved in art, design and craft fields, but one of the big hurdles for students is the cost and difficulty to locate high quality locally grown wood. The I+I Student Challenge was born out of conversations about the need to lower that barrier in order to foster more youthful and creative energy into the local craft scene.

“Sustainability and environmental responsibility live at the core of our students and our curriculum here at the School of Architecture. The students just have a strong desire to learn more about, and to work with, green materials,” said Hill.

Student winners

Beau Nakamori won first place in the I+I Student Challenge for his piece “The Overripe Banana,” which was crafted entirely from local woods, gold and paper. Nakamori was also awarded “Most Promising Young Artist” at Hawaiʻi’s Woodshow.

“I felt very shocked when I found out that I won!” said Nakamori. “I’m glad the judges shared the same whimsicality as I did about my ‘Overripe Banana’ piece.”

Sarah Hyun won second place in the I+I Student Challenge for her piece “Kalamahalaikalani,” and was awarded “Spirit of the Show” at Hawaiʻi’s Woodshow. Hyun’s piece is dedicated to her father, who passed during the design phase in March 2020.

“Hearing that I was awarded second place and won the spirit of the show award gave me great joy, but also a sense of peace,” said Hyun. “The design of this lamp was the last design I ever showed my father while he was in ICU, so knowing that I was able to complete it for him and that others acknowledged my efforts were really the true prize.”

Keola Annino earned an honorable mention at Hawaiʻi’s Woodshow 2020 for his piece “Paper Airplane.”

Admission to Hawaiʻi’s Woodshow at Hawaiʻi Opera Plaza (848 South Beretania St.) is free, but capacity is limited. Attendees are encouraged to reserve a timeslot online. Walk-ins are also accepted.

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College of Education student named Extraordinary Educator https://www.hawaii.edu/news/2020/11/02/shildmyer-extraordinary-educator/ Mon, 02 Nov 2020 21:30:58 +0000 https://www.hawaii.edu/news/?p=129874 Michael Shildmyer, who works at Pōhākea Elementary School, was the first teacher honored for Hawaii News Now's Extraordinary Educators campaign.

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male
Michael Shildmyer

Hawaiʻi News Now launched an Extraordinary Educators campaign that will shine the spotlight on a teacher each Monday during their 4 p.m. newscast. One of the first teachers to be nominated is Michael Shildmyer, a graduate student in the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa’s College of Education (COE), who is working on his post baccalaureate certificate in special education (PBSPED).

COE Assistant Specialist Aileen Soma said, “As Michael’s MUSE mentor since he started our PBSPED program, I can attest wholeheartedly to this deserving recognition! His passion for his students is immeasurable, and his innate ability to make all his students love learning and strive to do their best is incredible! Despite the challenges of distance learning, his students have continued to thrive under his guidance.”

Shildmyer, who works at Pōhākea Elementary School, was nominated by a parent of one of his students. Having submitted a proposal to his school to teach face-to-face, Shildmyer currently teaches “vulnerable” learners, including those with a 504 plan, English language learners, visually impaired and students with behavior issues in his multi-grade classroom (3rd and 4th grades).

“Because of room capacity limitations, I have been teaching face-to-face, hybrid A/B rotation and distance learners all at the same time in real time each school day,” Shildmyer said. “The students and their families have been so happy and supportive! They feel that their COVID-19 hardships, stress and concerns over providing a continuum of learning has finally been understood.”

SPED faculty members, Heather Rogers-Rodrigues and Rachelle Reed, also expressed their shared congratulations to Shildmyer who they said is highly deserving, hardworking and dedicated.

Shildmyer concluded, “I am truly grateful to everyone within the Department of Special Education for their expertise, guidance, and support during this unprecedented shift in the instructional model due to the pandemic. I’m proud to be a part of such a well-defined, caring, professional and supportive department. Thank you!”

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Top Hawai‘i teachers are UH College of Education alumni https://www.hawaii.edu/news/2020/11/02/coe-alumni-top-hawaii-teachers/ Mon, 02 Nov 2020 21:24:29 +0000 https://www.hawaii.edu/news/?p=129864 These teachers were selected from more than 13,000 educators within the Hawaiʻi State Department of Education.

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Lori Kwee
Lori Kwee

University of Hawaiʻi alumna Lori Kwee was named the 2021 Hawaiʻi State Teacher of the Year during a virtual awards ceremony on October 23. An Ala Wai Elementary School teacher for the past 20 years, Kwee earned a professional diploma and BEd in elementary education from UH Mānoa’s College of Education (COE).

As a finalist for this award, Kwee was the Kaimukī-McKinley-Roosevelt Complex area winner. Several other complex area winners are also COE alumni, including: Kristen Eastvedt, Shannon Kealoha, Joanna Kobayashi, Keala Nunuha, Ashley Oyama, Elaine Higa and Heidi Jenkins. These teachers were selected from more than 13,000 educators within the Hawaiʻi State Department of Education.

Following in her mom’s footsteps, Kwee says that it has been her dream to engage children in discovering the joys of learning. “Betty, my mom, was a teacher and also a graduate of UH Mānoa. As a young girl, I saw the pleasure she took as an educator at Ala Wai Elementary School. Her positive influence steered me to my path into elementary education, leading me to Ala Wai School as a full circle in life,” Kwee said.

As the State Teacher of the Year, Kwee will represent Hawaiʻi in the National Teacher of the Year program.

More on the complex area winners

Eastvedt, the Castle-Kahuku Complex area winner, holds an MEd in educational psychology from COE. A teacher at Hauʻula Elementary School for the past 17 years, she says she always knew that becoming a teacher was her destiny.

Baldwin-Kekaulike-Maui Complex area winner, Kealoha, received her professional diploma and BEd in elementary education. She teaches eighth grade math at Maui Waena Intermediate School where she has worked since 2001.

Kobayashi is the ʻAiea-Moanalua-Radford Complex area winner and has been a teacher at Moanalua High School for 10 years. Having earned an MEdT in secondary education, she says helping students understand how they can make positive impacts on our communities is what drew her to the field of education.

A teacher at Nānāikapono Elementary School since 2006, Nunuha is the Nānākuli-Waiʻanae Complex area winner. She holds both a BEd in elementary education and MEd in curriculum studies from COE.

Oyama, who earned a BEd in elementary education, is the Honokaʻa-Kealakehe-Kohala-Konawaena Complex area winner. A fourth grade teacher at Konawaena Elementary School, she says she was inspired by her own third and fourth grade teachers to one day impact and change the lives of students.

Higa, who holds a professional diploma and BEd in secondary education, is the KaʻuKeaʻau-Pahoa Complex area winner (Hawaiʻi District Office).

Jenkins, the Hāna-Lahainaluna-LanaʻiMolokaʻi Complex area winner (Maui District Office), has a BEd in elementary education.

Read the full story on the COE website for more on the winners.

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UH researchers play major role in Papahānaumokuākea update https://www.hawaii.edu/news/2020/11/02/2020-papahanaumokuakea-report/ Mon, 02 Nov 2020 20:52:51 +0000 https://www.hawaii.edu/news/?p=129821 A new PMNM report includes a newly discovered mesophotic species, records of algae and fish, and an invasive species of cryptogenic algae.

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birds
Two black-footed albatross or kaʻupu watch over their chick at French Frigate Shoals. (Photo credit: Mark Sullivan/NOAA)

The first report on Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument (PMNM) in more than 10 years provides an update of its resources and some surprising discoveries. PMNM is one of the largest fully protected marine conservation areas in the world, and it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site recognized for both it’s natural and cultural importance.

The University of Hawaiʻi Mānoa is involved in PMNM research through various colleges and institutions such as Hawaiʻi Institute of Marine Biology, School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology, Department of Botany and Joint Institute of Marine and Atmospheric Research (JIMAR). Brian Hauk, a resource protection manager at JIMAR for PMNM, which is under the Office of National Marine Sanctuaries at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Ocean Service, was a part of the research team that conducted the PMNM 2020 report.

fish swimming by coral reefs
Rare fishes at Kure. (Photo credit: NOAA/Richard Pyle-Bishop Museum)
birds perching on rocks
Boobies perch atop ceremonial shrines on Mokumanamana. (Photo credit: Kaleomanuʻiwa Wong)

The report includes a newly discovered mesophotic (a kind of coral ecosystem found in tropical and subtropical regions at depths ranging from almost 100 feet to over 490 feet below the ocean’s surface) species, records of algae and fish found on deep dive surveys, non-indigenous marine species and an invasive species of cryptogenic algae, Chondria tumulosa, which is smothering Manawai reefs and everything in its path.

“We found deep reefs at Kure atoll that had 100% endemic fish populations on our surveys, and we have been working with our partners to describe several species that are new to science all together,” said Hauk.

PMNM‘s original management plan was released in 2008, and there has not been a substantial update, until now. This new report uses the most recent scientific research to assess PMNM‘s resources and update their status and trends. A lot of the data behind this research was done by UH Mānoa, its affiliates and partner agencies.

The information contained in the report is critical in understanding how Hawaiʻi can better steward protected areas like PMNM.

“It is through that knowledge that we can expand our understanding of pristine natural places and implement practices in our own backyard to enable ecosystems to return to a more natural state,” said Hauk. “Through these actions, people in Hawaiʻi, the university and the world can better strive towards maintaining sustainable resources and ecosystems for future generations.”

Hawaiian monk seal near reef
A juvenile Hawaiian monk seal swims near Trig Island, French Frigate Shoals. (Photo credit: Mark Sullivan/NOAA)

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New research funding advances aerospace, electronics manufacturing https://www.hawaii.edu/news/2020/11/02/funding-aerospace-electronics-manufacturing/ Mon, 02 Nov 2020 18:53:48 +0000 https://www.hawaii.edu/news/?p=129815 The research may be a game-changer for how aerospace and electronics manufacturers fabricate their parts.

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headshot of joseph brown over a photo of a computer screen

A game-changing new technology that could impact aerospace and electronics manufacturers is being developed at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa’s College of Engineering, and the project received a big boost thanks to a three-year, $486,000 research grant from the Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR).

Joseph Brown, a mechanical engineering assistant professor and the project’s principal investigator (PI), said the award came as the result of a research proposal process that required more than two years of outreach to AFOSR, and is his first grant as a single PI.

“The fundamental understanding developed in this work has the long-term potential to revolutionize aircraft, spacecraft and sensor fabrication processes by enabling adaptability and increased speed and automation of assembly processes,” Brown said. “Furthermore, interlocking adhesive metamaterial surfaces may provide a pathway to better and more adaptable designs for high service temperatures and high-temperature cycling, which are needed for adaptable and robust designs for hypersonic systems.”

Research goals

person sitting on a chair working on a computer
Mechanical engineering MS student Geoffrey Garcia performing analytical and numerical calculations of bending parts.

The objective of Brown’s proposal, “Emergent Behavior of Interlocking Mechanical Metamaterials,” is to perform fundamental research aimed at understanding principles of 3D geometric nonlinearity within mechanical interlocking systems, focusing on structures assembled and operated on an extremely small scale.

The research concerns metamaterials, which are materials that use 2D or 3D patterns of repeated designs to achieve new properties not possible in unpatterned materials. In this case, the team will build from Brown’s earlier work on the topic of mechanical interlocking joints to create metamaterials that can be used to replace chemical adhesives with mechanical joints, behaving similar to Velcro but for high-performance material surfaces and with potentially much stronger bonds.

Geometric nonlinearity concerns situations in which the “small angle approximation” cannot be used in mechanical modeling. It is used widely to simplify engineering mathematics, but cannot be used to consider the bending of a hair, rope, piece of paper, or in the case of this grant, thin layers of engineering materials such as metals or polymers.

Anticipated research outcomes include a set of analytical and numerical simulation tools, and fabrication processes, that can be used to design and manufacture adhesive metamaterial surfaces, to be shared with the engineering community via research publications. Initial analysis indicates that surface bonding forces comparable to those of chemical adhesives can be obtained with interlocking mechanical metamaterials. As part of the research, the team will use analytical and numerical modeling, verifying models with experimentation and identifying model systems for scalable manufacturing once project discoveries are implemented.

More about AFOSR

AFOSR, based in Arlington, Virginia, supports Air Force goals of control and maximum utilization of air, space and cyberspace. AFOSR accomplishes its mission through investing in basic research efforts for the Air Force in relevant scientific areas.

person working on a computer
Mechanical engineering MS student Kody Wakumoto working in the Nanosystems Lab performing finite-element simulations.

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November 2020 anniversaries https://www.hawaii.edu/news/2020/11/01/november-2020-anniversaries/ Sun, 01 Nov 2020 18:00:12 +0000 https://www.hawaii.edu/news/?p=126359 The University of Hawaiʻi celebrates November 2020 faculty and staff anniversaries.

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Congratulations, and purple flowers

The University of Hawaiʻi celebrates November 2020 faculty and staff anniversaries.

50 years

Go, Wilma Joan
Secretary, Kapiʻolani CC

40 years

Dik, Ibrahim E
Professor, Kapiʻolani CC

Leong, Steven K H
Maintenance Mechanic, UH Mānoa

30 years

Abe, Robert H
Media Design and Production, UH Hilo

Araki, Blake M
Facilities Planning and Design, UH Mānoa

De Ryck, Jan Frans
Information Technology, UH Mānoa

Franke, Adrian A H
Specialist, UH Mānoa

Garneau De Lisle-Adam, Marie Christine
Professor, UH Mānoa

Kashiwada, Keith K
Professor, Kapiʻolani CC

Malate, Agnes R
Assistant Specialist, UH Mānoa

Moravcik, Eva R
Professor, Honolulu CC

Ogata, Carol E
Institutional Support, UH Mānoa

Tanouye, Allyson M
Specialist and Director, UH Mānoa

20 years

Awana, Liane Leiko
Institutional Support, UH Maui College

Baker, Tammy R G
Associate Professor, UH Mānoa

Chia, James Jee K
Information, Events and Publications, UH Mānoa

Cristi-Kim, Marie
Instructor, UH Mānoa

Godinet, Meripa T
Professor, UH Mānoa

Gushiken, Dean S
Institutional Support, UH Mānoa

Murakami, Tracie K
Institutional Support, UH Mānoa

Shapiro, K
Account Clerk, Windward CC

Spain, Lisa Hadway
Academic Support, UH Hilo

10 years

Burt, Rose M
Instructional and Student Support, UH Mānoa

Chock, Sharleen Y
Junior Specialist, UH Mānoa

Engle, Asia
Institutional Support, UH Mānoa

Estrella, Dominic J
Academic Support, UH System

Hara, George K,
University Security Officer, UH Mānoa

Kawakami, Loren K,
Facilities Planning and Design, UH Mānoa

Lau, Pamela M
Institutional Support, UH Mānoa

McCue, Cindy Sayuri
Institutional Support, UH System

Okumura, Robyn Lei
Institutional Support, UH Mānoa

Reeser, Cheryl K
Institutional Support, UH Maui College

Tasaka, Robyn L
Associate Specialist, UH West Oʻahu

Waiamau, Alton S
Assistant Professor, Honolulu CC

Yasuda, Chad A
Instructional and Student Support, Kapiʻolani CC

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Employer champions sought for UH-trained community health workers https://www.hawaii.edu/news/2020/10/30/community-health-workers-event/ Sat, 31 Oct 2020 01:12:46 +0000 https://www.hawaii.edu/news/?p=129787 A virtual event highlighted the community health worker training programs at UHi Community Colleges and the need for more employers and student practicum sites.

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Community health worker and a patient

More than 150 attendees participated in a virtual event, Community Health Workers (CHWs): Exploring their Roles and Benefits in Health Settings, on October 26. The event highlighted the training programs at the University of HawaiʻiCommunity Colleges, in addition to the role that CHWs play in the community and the need for more employers and student practicum sites. The event was co-hosted by the UHealthy Hawaiʻi Initiative, Hawaiʻi Public Health Institute and Healthcare Association of Hawaiʻi.

UH has a grant to support training 100 CHWs over the 2020–21 academic year through the Hawaiʻi State Department of Health (DOH)-UH Contact Tracing Training Program. With 84 students currently in the pipeline, including 29 in a full-time fall 2020 cohort and 55 in a part-time year-long cohort, practicum sites and future employers for the CHWs are needed.

Impact of CHWs

The virtual event highlighted how employer panelists from The Queen’s Health Systems, Waianae Coast Comprehensive Health Center, Hawai‘i Pacific Health and DOH have employed CHWs and benefited by improving health care delivery, addressing social determinants of health, and realizing cost savings while improving patient outcomes. The event also featured practicing CHWs from West Hawaiʻi Community Health Center, The Queen’s Health System and Ke Ola Mamo.

“Our CHWs assist patients with applying to state and federal medical insurance programs,” shared Geldilyn Ebbay, supervisor for the Complex Care Program at Hawaiʻi Pacific Health, when discussing the role that CHWs play on their complex care teams. “[They] have allowed our nurses to focus on our patients’ medical needs, and together we’re able to prevent high Emergency Department utilization or readmission.”

Ashley Shearer, manager for Queen’s Care Coalition, The Queen’s Medical Center, said, “Our leadership saw the results and incredible outcomes our CHWs were having…by connecting patients to the right care in the community, our CHWs have driven down unnecessary ER visits by about 50 percent and driven down their total cost of care (paid for by Medicaid) by about 35 to 40 percent.”

The attendees included a mix of Hawaiʻi employers, educators, industry leaders, community leaders and CHWs. Attendees represented private clinics and hospitals, local and federal government, insurance companies, the pharmaceutical industry, telecommunications and education.

More on program, become an employer

The Community Health Worker training program is a 16-credit, five-course UH certificate program for candidates who have earned a high school diploma or GED. The program is offered online, statewide through Kapiʻolani Community College. Enroll in the CHW program or sign up to become an employer or practicum site for students at the CHW Program website or email oshi@hawaii.edu for more information.

A virtual informational session for employers about employing or hosting CHW students will be held November 4 at 12 p.m. If interested, please email oshi@hawaii.edu.

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